Treasured Relationships Newsletter; September 2, 2016
In This Issue:
- Thoughts From Dave
- Article: "God: Working For Your Good"
Thoughts From Dave
1. Big news! I'm going to be interviewed 3 times on an internet radio show in 2 weeks about this work of helping couples thrive in their marriages. I'll send a special email letting you know the details to listen in. The air time will be noon (Eastern time zone) on September 12th, 14th, and 16th. That time might not work for you, so I'll send the links to log in and replay the interviews - as soon as I have them. More about this later.
2. Have you been receiving newsletters from me? Possibly not. I have discovered (and hopefully successfully fixed) a "glitch" in my software that was causing some of you to not receive emails from me. If you are among those who have not received anything from me in quite a while, I apologize. I've manually typed everyone's email addresses back into the list of recipients, so we should be up and running again.
God: Working For Your Good
Romans 8:28 is a scripture we’ve probably all read, likely quoted, and possibly clung to at times: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)
Tim and Amy (not their real names) were struggling in their marriage. Tim was frequently drunk, verbally abusive towards Amy and their children, and financially irresponsible. Tim was not a believer, and made fun of Amy going to church. Amy clung to this verse, even when she wasn’t sure she completely believed it. Over time she began to lose hope of them ever having a healthy marriage. It seemed like there was no hope for their family.
They tried going to marriage counseling, but it didn’t seem to help much. Before long Tim said that counseling was a waste of time, and he refused to go back. In a way, Tim was right in this evaluation of their counseling situation. They were attempting to address relationship challenges, when the primary problems was personal and spiritual instead of a relationship problem. Until he would address his personal problem of substance abuse and addiction, there would be ongoing relationship problems. And until his spiritual emptiness was addressed, they would be "unequally yoked" (a Biblical concept that has to do with their situation). And for an addict, it is not easy to change.
Tim had a friend at work who invited him to go on a weekend fishing trip. Tim assumed that fishing in a boat just naturally involves lots of beer, so he eagerly accepted the invitation. But this friend was a recovering alcoholic and a Christian, so he understood that he had to separate himself from that temptation. So this man didn’t allow alcohol aboard his boat. This opened up a discussion between the two men, and the friend told Tim about God intervening in his life, and how everything had changed for the better since he had turned to God. He explained that for him, alcohol was a problem that had to go. Tim was stuck several hours away from home, with no transportation, and he chose to get on the boat instead of finding a way home. The conversation continued for 2 days.
Returning home completely sober, Tim talked with his wife about how he knew he had made a mess of their lives, and he wanted to make it right. He began going to a “Celebrate Recovery” meeting at their church, and joined an AA chapter. He was trying to straighten up the mess in his life, so that he could get good enough to become a Christian.
But that’s not how it works. Tim would never be able to straighten himself up. At church someone told him that he should come to Christ first, and then the Holy Spirit would help him to get his life straight once and for all. When Tim finally confessed his sins to God and accepted Christ, everything was different. This was a new start for him, for Amy, and for their home life. But it takes work to change patterns of behavior, and they didn’t have anyone guiding them as they struggled to be different.
A few months later, things were better between them, but still not great. Tim was continuing with his addiction recovery, and doing well with that struggle. Amy had seen a post on “Facebook” about relationship coaching, and she did some research online. When she suggested it to Tim, and explained how coaching is different from counseling, he was interested. So they sought out a Christian relationship coach to guide them. They have begun doing marriage God’s way, and over the past 5 months their marriage has completely turned around.
People who knew Tim and Amy a year ago can hardly believe they are the same people. They are happy together and have a bright future. Their oldest child is doing much better in school, and the younger child is just starting first grade. The impact of a dysfunctional home life has on children is significant, so it is no surprise that the children are doing so much better now that there is peace and harmony in their home.
The story does not end here, because the remainder of the story is still unfolding. I don’t know what God has in store for this family, but I do know that God is working for good in the lives of this couple who have placed their trust in Him. It is exciting to see what God is doing!
Do you know someone for whom the promise of Romans 8:28 seems more like a "fairy tale" than an actual possibility? Do you know a couple who are struggling to have a fulfilling relationship, while choosing to do things their own way instead of following God’s design in their marriage? Hey, we all want to have great marriages, but that doesn’t mean we have a clue how.
I can help. It’s what God has called me to be doing, and has equipped me for. I offer free “Discovery Sessions” that are a sort of a marriage check-up, designed to evaluate how a couple (or individual) can follow God’s design for marriage more closely. Anyone can sign up for one of these sessions with me by visiting www.treasuredrelationships.com and clicking on the “Discovery Session” link on the right side of the page. Then we meet on the phone, so it doesn’t matter where they are located.
You can email me privately at email@example.com with any questions, comments, etc. Or go to the www.treasuredrelationships.com website and book a time for us to “meet” and talk over the phone or internet. Simply select one of my available time slots, and I will send you the details of how we can connect live. I meet this way with people in Australia, Canada, Egypt, and a bunch of US states. So it really doesn’t matter how far away you are from Wilmington, NC. I am here to serve you, and I wish you well.
Please tell others about Treasured Relationships! If you know anyone who might be able to benefit from this ministry, ask them to check us out on the website. I work from an office in Wilmington, NC; but the days of having to travel for appointments are over. I've embraced technology that makes this ministry more effective and more convenient at the same time.
Welcome to new members of the Treasured Relationships community!
I send the Treasured Relationships newsletter to you twice each month, plus occasional special announcements. I promise to not fill up your inbox all the time. I hope you will stick with us, and that you will find the content beneficial. I also hope that you will allow us to help you as needed, and encourage others you know to get plugged in as well. I personally answer all email, so send me your questions, thoughts, concerns, suggestions, whatever. But, of course, you can unsubscribe at any time and your request will be honored.
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Treasured Relationships LLC: "Helping couples relate well, build fulfilling relationships and experience marriage as God designed it to be!"